NRC's participation in promotion of the leftist Contract for the American Dream is reason enough that they should not receive public funding.
United Way of Metropolitan Nashville does a lot of good things. They support many fine programs that help thousands of people in our community. They help those in crisis with food and shelter and health care and counseling, they have helped hundreds of Nashville families affected by the May 2009 flood, and United Way supports programs to help lift people out of poverty. I have personally contributed to United Way. I admire the work of the organization and hesitate to criticize them. I am disappointed, however, that United Way is supporting an agency that is a engaging in blatant liberal political activism. That organization is the Neighborhood Resource Center.
NRC is an organization devoted to community organizing. They do some good things that almost all would agree are worthy endeavors, but they definitely have a liberal agenda. According to the United Way 2009 Income Tax return, the Neighborhood Resource Center received three grants that year, one for $231,958 and two smaller grants, one for $3500 and one for $1,698. United Way has funded the Neighborhood Resource Center since 1997. I have emailed United Way asking what the current level of funding is for NRC and have asked what programs that funding supports. When I get an answer, I will update this report. If I do not get the courtesy of a reply, I will also update and let readers of this blog know. I have also offered United Way a chance to respond to this post.
I am sure that if United Way is asked about the funding for the Neighborhood Resource Center they will say that the grant is awarded for a specific program and funds received from United Way are not used for political activism. We all know that, that is not the way things really work. If NRC is receiving $237,000 from United Way, that funding is paying for overhead, salaries, and utilities and is also freeing up other NRC funds to be used for political activities.
On August 20, 2011 the Neighborhood Resource Center hosted a meeting at their Third Avenue headquarters for participants to discuss how to implement the Contract for the American Dream. The announcement for the meeting said, “We will be gathering to discuss how we can bring back our country and our state to one that values people over corporations and believes that we all do better when we all do better. Your ideas and networks are vital to the success of this Progressive movement.” Other organizations participating in the event included Progressive Democrats of America and Tennessee Citizens Action.
The Contract for the American Dream is a project of the far left MoveOn.Org. A whole host of other liberal and leftist organization are also partnering in the Contract for the American Dream campaign including Planned Parenthood, Progressive Congress.org, Progressive Democrats of America, Daily Kos, People for the American Way, and Code Pink.
The Contract for the American Dream is a major effort to energize the left. It calls for new massive government spending and wealth redistribution. The Contract calls for the following: “investment” in infrastructure, massive government “investment" in green jobs, a mandatory living wage, universal access to early childhood education and affordable higher education for all, universal single-payer health care, no changes to social security, higher taxes on the wealthy, an end to the wars and to bring home the troops now, a tax on “wall street speculator”, and to “ban anonymous political influence, slam shut the lobbyists' revolving door in D.C., and publicly finance elections.” Would not everyone agree that that is a liberal partisan agenda?
If you work at a company that encourages participation in a United Way workplace campaign, you may want to ask the United Way spokesman who comes to urge your participation, why you should contribute to an organization that is political in nature and who works to achieve political objectives with which you disagree. You may want to consider withholding your funding of United Way and contribute directly to an organization you trust. If you work for one of those companies that “strongly encourages” participation and you feel failure to participate could endanger your continued employment, you may want to look into designating your gift to a particular United Way agency rather than the United Way general fund.
In addition to United Way of Metropolitan Nashville, other funding sources for the Neighborhood Resource Center include the following: The HCA Foundation, The Frist Foundation, Regional Transportation Authority, The Memorial Foundation, The Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, James Stephen Charitable Foundation, The Temple (Congregation Ohabai Sholom), Hermitage Environmental Leadership Project, 61st Avenue United Methodist Church, and Organized Neighbors of Edgehill.
If you have any influence with any of the above organizations you may wish to raise a question as to why they are funding a liberal activist organization.The Frist family are conservatives, are they not? Why are they funding this left-wing agenda? The Regional Transportation Authority operates on tax dollars. What are they doing supporting a partisan liberal political organization? Next time the local government is asked to fund RTA, someone should ask.